Safety drives road improvements at Noll Road and Hostmark Street

POULSBO — Safety improvements are on the way for children and parents commuting to schools on Poulsbo’s Hostmark Street and Noll Road.

The Poulsbo Elementary/Noll Road Safe Route to School project, funded in part by money left over from the Viking Avenue improvement project, will address the need for sidewalks in the area. It is geared toward improving foot and bike paths, roads, drainage, landscaping and intersections stretching from Poulsbo Elementary School on Noll Road to Poulsbo Middle School on Hostmark Street.

“It’s a big deal for those schools,” Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson said. “We need safer ways for kids to walk to school.”

Poulsbo Elementary School, Poulsbo Middle School and North Kitsap High School , located in the area have a combined attendance of more than 2,600 students.

Proposed improvements on Noll Road include two 12-foot wide travel lanes and a 12-foot wide pervious asphalt shared path on the west side of the street replacing a five-foot wide gravel path. The paths would be buffered from the roadway by 12-foot wide rain gardens. Noll Road would also have a five-foot wide bike lane and five-foot wide sidewalk on the east side of the street.

In addition, an all-way stop and turn lanes might be installed at the Noll Road and Hostmark Street intersection. A traffic signal could eventually replace the stop signs if traffic volumes increase.

The Viking Avenue improvements received more than $1 million as part of a federal grant which awarded about $3.8 million to Kitsap County to delegate among the cities. Construction bids came in lower than expected to create the excess funds, City Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak said.

Last year the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council

designated $220,000 for the project from state funds. At a May 4 meeting, the council approved the shift of $350,000 of left over funds from Viking Avenue improvements to the safety improvements. Kasiniak estimates the current funding for the school walkways project at close to $600,000.

Funds can’t be line-itemed from one project to another; Poulsbo must return the money to the federal government for it to be reassigned, Kasiniak said.

The city expects to call for bids on the Hostmark Street and Noll Road project by June or July, Kasiniak said. He hopes to have a contract signed in August and begin work in summer 2011, when school is out.

“I don’t want to distract our kids that need to study,” Kasiniak said. “They have to be focused.”

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